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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-15

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Labour Relations in Parliament
  • [02] Bulut Sees Red
  • [03] The Champion Was a He, Not a She
  • [04] Inspection Authority to Replace SDOE
  • [05] Precautionary Measures for Sewage Sludge
  • [06] Metropolis on Fire
  • [07] New Suspect Arrest
  • [08] Double Strike in Baghdad
  • [09] Balco Accepts Responsibility

  • [01] The Bill Was Submitted Labour Relations in Parliament

    15 Jul 2005 13:35:00 (Last updated: 15 Jul 2005 17:04:47)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Employment and Social Protection Ministry submitted the bill on labour relations to Parliament excluding the controversial issue of the executives right. The bill was first approved by the Parliamentary Committee, which held a meeting on Thursday morning at Maximos Mansion following the failure in talks between GSEE (Greek Federal Confederation of Labour) and the employers union on the subject in question. The bill, which was made public by the Employment Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos, modifies the 2874 law that was passed in 2000, while, as per Mr Panagiotopoulos, the reforms include a mini social security. Dialogue in Parliament is open, he stated and he went on expressing the governments dissatisfaction about the disagreement between the social partners. The bill is to be discussed next Tuesday by the competent parliamentary committee and then it will be put to the vote by the I Recess Section of the Parliament. However, the Opposition parties and the trade unions reacted fiercely. GSEE has already warned of staging a strike and filing an appeal to the Greek and European Courts, while it will determine its stance next Wednesday.

    The Bill's Provisions

    According to the bill, the executives right is not provisioned. As for the working time management, its application is determined on an annual or four-month basis following a direct agreement between the employers and the employees.

    In the case of the four-month management, unless an agreement is reached, a five-member committee will be authorized to make the decisions. The committee will consist of two employers representatives and two on the part of the employees, while the Employment Ministry Inspector will be chairing the committee. No penalty is to be imposed should the employee does not accept the management, whereas the minimum fine for the offender employers will rise to 900 euros.

    As for the overtime payments, the former regime established by Giannitsislaw is to be re-enacted. From the 41st hour of the week until the 45th in case of a five-day, or from the 48th hour in case of six-day, the increase will not exceed 25%. Regarding the overtime beyond that limit and up to 120 hours annually the cost stands at 50%, whereas beyond the 120 hours the cost rises to 75%.

    The bill also includes social security provisions. Employees to be retired are able to purchase up to 150 stamps, pension given to widows and widowers aged more than 40 and is currently given only for a period of three years, will be re-subsidized, while employers at the shipyard zone in Perama can validate their heavy and health-hazardous stamps.

    Finally, the payment of the due contributions to the Press, hotel employees and freelancers social security funds will be paid off in 80 installments, while the due contributions to IKA by the agricultural cooperative unions will be paid off in 120 installments free of additional duties.

    "A New Era for Employment"

    Mr Panagiotopoulos explained that the reforms of Fiannitsis law over the overtime and the working time management failed irrespective of the intention of the Minister, and he added that the new reforms aim to boosting the medium sized businesses and reducing the transfer of businesses to foreign countries so that employment rates increase.

    On his part, Deputy Employment Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos described the reforms as Part of the fierce fight to reduce unemployment, saying that over the last months data released by OAED (Greek Manpower Employment Organisation) depict a continuous reduction in the registered unemployed (last years 551,000 reduced to 450,000 this year).

    Exiting the Maximos Mansion, Development Minister Dimitris spoke of the necessary reforms meant to enhance growth and employment and combat unemployment in a way that favours the employees.

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who also attended the Government Committee meeting, said that the bill puts an end to the exploitation of employees.

    Economy Minister,Giorgos Alogoskoufis referred to, A new era that is introduced in Greece in terms of employment, and he added that the government bases its decisions on public interest.

    Greece has run out of time, pinpointed the government spokesperson Thodoris Rousopoulos at the regular briefing of the reporters. He went on saying that the reforms target the collective interest, enhance competitiveness, help businesses to survive and stay in Greece, and attract foreign investments.

    Fierce Reactions

    GSEE is against this anti-working class reform and it will take fierce and decisive measures against it, said Christos Polyzogopoulos. He further maintained that the reforms overthrow the 8-hour scheme, boost the employers income, violate the labour relations and abolish the Collective Working Contracts.

    Commenting on the possibility of an appeal to courts on the part of the GSSE, the Athens Bar Association General Secretary Dimitris Vervesos told NET radio 105,8 that such an appeal is groundless since the legislative reform prevails over the collective contracts.

    The government blatantly revealed its unfair face, said PASOK MP Evagelos Venizelos and he spoke of reforms in favour of the few that unveil the Social and political coldness of NDs government. At the same time, he described the reform that allows a five-member committee to proceed with the working time management as provocative and blatantly incompatible with the Constitution and the International Contracts.

    KKE also reacted strongly. The decisions of the government committee paved the way for ND to take more aggressive measures against the working class, said KKE and added, The new reforms have nothing to do with the reduction in unemployment rates and do not support the medium sized businesses, just like PASOKs former reforms.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Bulut Sees Red

    15 Jul 2005 21:23:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Olympiacos President Sokratis Kokkalis made one more announcement during tonights open training in Rentis, which was attended by approximately 9,000 red fans. The powerful man said the team acquired one more footballer, Turkish Erol Bulut playing for 1860 Munchen, who signed a contract of cooperation with Olympiacos for 2+1 years. It is worth noting that Bulut has played in one more Greek team in the past, Panionios.

    The Announcement

    Olympiacos CFP hereby announces the signing of international player Erol Bulut. The player from Turkey has moved to Piraeus on a 2+1-year deal.

    Bulut, who was born on January 30, 1975, is the first Turkish player to have joined the Piraeus team. The Turkish midfielder has also played in Fenerbahce, Eintracht Frankfurt, Adanaspor and Bursaspor.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Changed Sex by a Curse The Champion Was a He, Not a She

    15 Jul 2005 19:10:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC, NET Radio 105.8

    Four years behind bars is the sentence for an 18-year-old athlete from Zimbabwe. No, she wasnt caught doped, its just that after many years of competing as a professional athlete, it was revealed that she was a he! 18-year-old Samukeliso Sithole was competing in womens events. In fact, he has even won seven gold medals in national and international events, competing in triple jump, javelin and shot-putt. He has also bought two houses using his female identity. However, his secret did not take long to surface. He was arrested on February after his co-athletes sued him because they though he was a woman and changed their clothes in his presence. In fact, one of the female athletes sent her uncle to look into the issue. The doctors examination shed some light in the case.

    Pregnancy Fears

    However, all these years he had kept his secret well hidden and pretended to be a woman quite successfully.

    But all good things come to a quick end and the athlete was forced to stand trial. He originally claimed he had been born a hermaphrodite, with both male and female sex organs, but after a treatment, which he refused to pay, the traditional healer cursed him and his male sex organs reappeared and were even enlarged.

    In fact, Sithole claimed to have periods and feared becoming pregnant.

    However, it seems that this version did not convince the judges and he was forced to confess that poverty led him to commit the crime of impersonation, as he wanted to have money and live like an athlete. He then said, I am very sorry, and was led to the joint.

    Although his secret was revealed in February, he was not detained until the beginning of the trial, as the Public Prosecutor could not decide whether he should go to a womens or mens prison.

    But in May, Sithole was found guilty of stealing from a boyfriend and sent to a male prison.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Upgraded Workforce and Services Inspection Authority to Replace SDOE

    15 Jul 2005 17:05:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The Special Inspection Authority, which was established by the Finance Ministry to replace the Financial Crimes Enforcement Units (SDOE), is upgraded both in terms of workforce and technical equipment. The new Inspection Authority, which will consists of 1,500 highly qualified staff members, is to come into effect on July 18. The new service will be focusing on the fight against illegal transactions via the Internet, money laundering and tax evasion cases.

    Aiming at Opacity and Reliability

    Economy Ministry aims at introducing an opaque and reliable mechanism, which will be respecting the citizens rights. For that reason, a department of internal control is provisioned to secure the integrity of the Special Inspection Authority. At the same time, the establishment of a communication and information bureau is expected to facilitate the citizens.

    The new specialized inspection department for e-commerce will be actively assisting the computer systems decoding lab as well as it will be fighting financial crimes committed via the Internet and other technological means.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] By the Ano Liosia Mayor Precautionary Measures for Sewage Sludge

    15 Jul 2005 15:06:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The reactions of the Ano Liosia residents regarding the transfer of the sewage sludge from Psitaleia to the regions Waste Management Sanitary Landfills continued in the courtrooms on Thursday. The Athens First Instance Court examined the petition for precautionary measures on the part of the Ano Liosia Municipality against the Environment Ministry, the Attica Union of Municipalities and Communities and EYDAP (Athens Water Supply and Sewage Company) regarding the unauthorized operation of the Refuse Dump and the continuous disposal of the sewage sludge. Ano Liosia Mayor Nikos Papadimas described the situation as tragic and called on the bodies involved to judge for themselves. The Environment Ministry and EYDAP also admitted that the region is heavily burdened. At the same time, Mr Papadimas requested the amount of refuse that is daily disposed at the Sanitary Landfills be reduced to 500 tonnes instead of the 7,000 that are currently disposed. The Courts decision is expected.

    It is noteworthy that the Ano Liosia Mayor has declared the municipality in an emergency state, while the residents of the city as well as the neighbouring municipalities oppose to the disposal of the sewage sludge and to the presence of the riot police (MAT) that monitor the transfer.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Unknown Causes Metropolis on Fire

    15 Jul 2005 11:56:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: NET - NET 105,8

    Severe damages were caused by the fire that broke out shortly after 1am on Friday at Metropolis disc shop at the heart of Athens. The fire broke out at the basement of the three-storey disc shop, which is situated at 64 Panepistimiou Street, but it soon expanded to all the floors of the building. 30 fire fighters with 10 vehicles arrived at the site and managed to put out the fire. The caretaker of the building, who had been trapped, was freed by the fire fighters, and was then transferred to the hospital due to breathing problems. The interrogator department of the Fire Service is conducting an investigation into the causes of the accident. First estimations speak of a short circuit, without ruling out other possible causes.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Denies Charges New Suspect Arrest

    15 Jul 2005 14:53:00 (Last updated: 15 Jul 2005 21:52:18)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: BBC - Reuters - Associated press

    Egyptian biochemist Magdi el Nasar, who is believed to have built the bombs used in Londons suicide attacks, is held and questioned in Cairo. The arrest of 33-year-old Nasar, who got a PhD in biochemistry from the university of Leeds, was held as part of a large-scale operation in the Egyptian capital. ABC initially released the news, while was later confirmed by the Associated Press, BBC and Reuters, citing government sources. The British Homeland Office confirmed the arrest a few hours later, while Nasar seems to plead not guilty, as per the first information from the Egyptian Ministry of Internal Affairs. At the same time, 4 people have also been arrested in Pakistan, who reportedly cooperated with the four dead London bombers.

    Investigations Continue

    According to the ABC TV network, the British authorities believe that the arrested left Britain two weeks before the four blasts, which cost the lives of 54 people on July 7.

    At the same time, BBC reported that the authorities raided his house in Leeds this morning. Raids are still in progress both in Leeds and in Buckinghamshire.

    As it seems, while searching for clues on the bombers past, the British police had focused investigations on an Islamist library, which also provided Internet services and hosted seminars. Hard discs for the librarys PCs have already been confiscated.

    It was also confirmed that the chemical substance that was used in the explosives was the same kind of explosive Richard Reid had in his shoes when he attempted to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight in 2001.

    [08] 6 Fatalities and 23 Wounded Double Strike in Baghdad

    15 Jul 2005 14:12:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: Reuters

    At least six people died and 23 more were wounded in a double bomb attack targeting military patrols scattered across Baghdad. The first attack was launched north of the Iraqi capital killing six and wounding 15 people. Serious damages were also reported. The authorities were unable to determine whether the victims were civilians or troops, since most of the bodies had been burnt. Earlier, an American car convoy was reported to have been hit. However, the American army denied it stating that there were no troops at the site. The second attack killed five troops and three civilians, while crossfire followed the attack. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibilities for the attacks.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    New Massacre in Iraq

    [09] Balco Accepts Responsibility

    15 Jul 2005 12:35:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Victor Conte, owner of the pharmaceutical company Balco, agreed to a friendly settlement for the charges he is facing relating to the production and sale of illegal steroids (Tetrahydrogestrinone THG). The story appeared in San Joses paper The Mercury News, while in the article it was also noted that the owner of the company would not be going to trial, which was scheduled for September.


    Conte pleaded guilty to the charges of illegal distribution of anabolic steroids and money laundering and accepted the four-month prison term and the fine.

    Meanwhile, the newspaper wrote that the rest of the defendants are also negotiating the same terms in order to avoid trial.

    Following the settlement, many top athletes who were implicated in the scandal, including sprinter Marion Jones, would not be testifying before the court. Conte had admitted that he had given steroids to Jones, a fact that the American runner is denying.

    Contes attorneys told the newspaper that the friendly settlement obligates their client to assist in the federal investigation, ordered by the authorities three years ago. Ed Swanson, one of the 54-year-old businessmans attorneys, declared that they were satisfied with the terms of the settlement, while Conte is scheduled to sign the settlement today.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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